Illinois Butterflies Decline But May Be Recovering

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) -- Butterfly experts say the insects' population is down after back-to-back years of bad weather, but they're holding out hope that the bugs' numbers may be rebounding.

The State Journal-Register reports the bugs suffered during last year's drought and were hurt again by the cold and rainy spring.

In McDonough County in west-central Illinois, biologists counted only 22 different butterfly species during a survey this month. Angella Moorehouse is a biologist with the Illinois Nature Preserves Commission. She says that's the lowest figure since authorities began keeping records 27 years ago.

Moorehouse and others say they hope to see an increase in the butterfly population over the next few months. She says she's already starting to see more monarchs, buckeyes, Eastern-tailed blues and swallowtails.

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